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Readers' advice: How to quit smoking

Last updated on: November 12, 2010 16:55 IST

Readers' advice: How to quit smoking

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On November 11 we asked our readers if Indian cigarette packs should also have photos detailing the harmful effects of smoking.

Here are the first set of responses from Raviraj Desai, P K Verma, Vijay Srinivasan, Prof U Chandrasekhar, Amiruddin, Dinesh and Golla Kumar Subhash.

I was a smoker for nearly 20 years before I decided to quit smoking. Quitting the habit ultimately depends on an individual's control and will power. I would recommend the following to ensure that people quit smoking.

1) Selective pictorial messages warnings on the cigarette case/ packet on the hazards of smoking should be put on all the sides of the packet. This will most likely drive away new potential smokers.

2) I would suggest that the cigarette butt / filter should be longer in size to accommodate a warning on health hazards.

3) Printed leaflets with description of health hazards/ diseases due to smoking should be inserted at the top of the packet like printed leaflets being inserted in pharmaceutical drugs.

Apart from the above measures, the following will indirectly help many people quit smoking.

4) Smoking to be strictly banned at work places / residential complexes / restaurants. Although there is a ban on smoking at public places, it is hardly being followed.

5) Cigarettes should be classified as luxury items and should attract a tax of 50 per cent. The costlier they are, commercially they may not be viable for the common man.

Data shows that majority of the people affected by these are those from the lower and middle class, who then cannot afford hospitalisation and medication.

Raviraj Desai


'Quitting smoking ultimately depends on individuals'

Increase the price of cigarette packets. Make it Rs 250 or more per packet or simply ban tobacco companies. But government earns a lot of revenue from sale of tobacco and alcohol.

P K Verma


  • Increase the price of cigarettes
  • Educate youngsters about the dangerous and fatal effects of smoking
  • Ban public smoking completely. And impose heavy fines on people who smoke on roads, public places, etc.

Vijay Srinivasan PS


Do you think carrying such photos on Indian cigarette packets will discourage desi smokers? Tell us what according to you will reduce smoking amongst young Indians.

Tell us how you quit smoking.

Send in your suggestions to getahead@rediff.co.in with the subject line: 'How I quit smoking' and we will publish the best responses right here on Rediff.com.


Photographs: Wiki Commons
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'Putting pictures might have helped decades ago but not now'

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Following are my suggestions.
 
A 'CHANGE' happens by moving towards the expected result, and not by running away from existing situation. I believe, that encouraging people to visualise the sweet results, if 'THE CHANGE' is made can solve several serious issues in this world.

For example: "Mission for PEACE" is more effective than "War on Terror"

So I vote for the last slogan in that pix, that has the message, "I QUIT" on a T-Shirt.
 
Similarly I would like to encourage the media to promote and project positive side of events in this world. Give people DREAMS of a lovely universe.

Condemn injustice, but do not forget to give practical solutions to problems. Let's build a 'Solution Oriented Society'.

Prof U Chandrasekhar


I am a software professional working in Hyderabad. Many of my friends here smoke; a few are chain smokers too. Year ago one of the employees in my company died because of a heart attack; he was just 24, the only child in the family but he used to smoke a lot.

I asked my friends who smoke about their smoking habits, how it started and almost all of them gave me the same answer: our friends in college would offer us to smoke once. Initially we would say no. Some time they made fun of it so we started smoking once a day just to keep up with peer pressure. We started with just one cigarette a day but now we all smoke a packet, were their answers.

I then asked them if they knew about the harmful effects of smoking. And they would just pass a smile. You think we are uneducated? They would ask me. Even illiterate people know that cigarettes cause cancer. Even without cigarettes people are dying of cancer because of lot of pollution: air, vehicular, factory, water, contaminated foods, drinking beverages, pesticides used to increase food productivity, etc.

Even if we want to leave smoking now it is difficult for us. Few of my friends said that they tried quitting the habit but when they see others smoking (like friends, relatives or anybody else) they can't control themselves from smoking.

While at home they come out of their houses to smoke as they know their small kids will face health problem. All of them say that putting pictures on packets will not help. Everybody knows the end result.

Putting pictures might have helped decades before but not now. The only solution now is that the government should not think of revenue generation from selling cigarettes but completely ban selling of tobacco, cigarettes; even ban cultivating tobacco plants.

Amiruddin


Do you think carrying such photos on Indian cigarette packets will discourage desi smokers? Tell us what according to you will reduce smoking amongst young Indians.

Tell us how you quit smoking.

Send in your suggestions to getahead@rediff.co.in with the subject line: 'How I quit smoking' and we will publish the best responses right here on Rediff.com.



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'People might smoke less after seeing a hole in their pockets'

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Explain to smokers how cigarette smoking can burn a hole in their pocket instead of displaying the same old images.

All smokers know the reason behind smoking and images displayed on cigarette packs will be of no help.

They just won't quit and ignore the message until and unless they realise the pain which is displayed on the images.

Here is my idea:

Ask all smokers to make a simple calculation. Let's assume a guy/gal smokes 10 cigarattes daily.

10 cigarettes * Rs 5 (average cigarette cost) = Rs 50 daily expense

So monthly expense would be Rs 50 * 30 = Rs 1,500

And yearly would be Rs 1,500 * 12 = Rs 18,000
 
Rs 18,000 is not a small amount to be left easily. Many people who earn monthly Rs 18,000 will think that they spend almost a month's salary in smoking cigarettes every year.

Instead of showing images that shock smokers we should display an image showing how smoking burns a big hole in their pocket and smoking more and more cigarettes will lead to a much bigger hole.

This might help people smoke less after seeing a hole in their pockets.

Quitting is solely dependent on the individual and we can't just ask them to do so.

Dinesh


Yes I would like to see such pictures on the cigarette packets in India too.

One more suggestion: In order to curb smoking amongst youth, maybe, we should make smokers buy an entire packet which would increase their daily costs instead of selling loose cigarettes.

This might make student community across India think twice while spending that much money on a daily basis. At least 25 to 30 per cent smokers would find it difficult to cultivate this habit, I feel.

Golla Kumar Subhash


Do you think carrying such photos on Indian cigarette packets will discourage desi smokers? Tell us what according to you will reduce smoking amongst young Indians.

Tell us how you quit smoking.

Send in your suggestions to getahead@rediff.co.in with the subject line: 'How I quit smoking' and we will publish the best responses right here on Rediff.com.



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